One of the causes of social exclusion and discrimination associated with mental illnesses is a misperception that people who have mental illnesses lack the same interests and abilities as everyone else. Art, including the visual and performing arts, can be a powerful force in correcting this misperception. Using music, dance, painting, sculpture, poetry, theater, and more, people with mental illnesses can demonstrate their creativity, insightfulness and intelligence. Through art, they send the message that "I work, live, and play, just like you,? which can lead individuals to question and ultimately reject stigmatizing myths. Also, the confidence-building and peer support that can be found in arts programs can be powerful forces in recovery from mental illnesses.
This Web page provides information and research about how the arts help to address mental health issues, promote recovery from mental illnesses, and increase social inclusion and reduce discrimination.